15 Types Of Intelligence

Human intelligence has been the subject of research in psychology and other disciplines for some time. However, its study has not been free of controversies and controversies regarding its definition, components and explanatory models. Despite this, in recent years new theories have been developed that break with the concept of single intelligence and are committed to their diversity. If you want to know what intelligences have been identified so far and their characteristics, keep reading this PsychologyFor article where you will find the 15 types of intelligence<

How many types of intelligence are there?

In general terms, intelligence can be defined as the Cognitive ability that allows human beings to learn from experience, make use of reasoning, problem solving, abstract thinking and the understanding of complex ideas.

It is a faculty that allows adaptation to the environment and survival of people. However, this definition of intelligence is not the only one and is not shared by all people, since it is not currently considered a unitary concept. The study of intelligence from psychology has been and is a field that arouses great interest and controversy, in addition to having evolved since the beginning of its research.

The beginning of the study of human intelligence in psychology can be dated to the end of the 19th century, although it was in the 20th century when it became one of the central areas of this discipline. The first Inteligence test It was created in 1904 by Binet and Simon, with the aim of establishing a tool for measuring it. They also explored the notion of mental age.

Later, Stern would relate the concept of mental age to chronological age, contributing to Terman finally developing the concept of Intelligence Quotient or IQ<

Regarding theories about intelligence, Spearman was one of the first to propose one of them, the bifactor theory, by which there would be a General Factor or Factor G that is common and transversal in all the tasks we perform and a factor S that corresponds to specific skills for a certain activity.

With Cattell and Horn a new point of view about intelligence appears, based on Spearman’s theory, they propose that human beings have two types of intelligence, fluid and crystallized. The first of them refers to the ability to acquire new learning and adapt to novelty, while the second refers to the ability to apply the knowledge that one already possesses.

Although many other authors continued to investigate intelligence and try to establish the different types of intelligence In psychology, in the decades of the 60s and 70s the study of this topic lost interest and remained stagnant.

However, in the 1980s, Howard Gardner It is proposed how many types of intelligence exist, giving rise to the Theory of Multiple Intelligences, in which it rejects the unitary concept of intelligence and identifies up to a total of eight intelligences that would be present in all people to a lesser or greater degree. development. This expansion of the definition of intelligence culminates with the inclusion of emotions and recognition of their importance in the mental faculty. The popularization of the concept of emotional intelligence is due to Daniel Goleman who has also carried out multiple investigations about it.

So, what are the types of intelligence? At the moment, the following can be identified 15 types of intelligence:

  1. logical-mathematical intelligence
  2. Linguistic-verbal intelligence
  3. Visual-spatial intelligence
  4. Body-kinesthetic intelligence
  5. Musical intelligence
  6. Intrapersonal intelligence
  7. Interpersonal intelligence
  8. naturalistic intelligence
  9. emotional intelligence
  10. Collaborative intelligence
  11. Existential intelligence
  12. creative intelligence
  13. Crystallized intelligence
  14. fluid intelligence
  15. General intelligence or g factor

logical-mathematical intelligence

Logical-mathematical intelligence is part of Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Implicit in it is the ability to calculation, analysis and reasoning< It includes logical thinking, abstract thinking, inductive and deductive reasoning, numerical calculations and the use of the scientific method. It is one of the intelligences that has traditionally been considered representative of the general concept of intelligence and with great academic weight.

Linguistic-verbal intelligence

Linguistic-verbal intelligence, along with logical-mathematical intelligence, has traditionally been part of the concept of intelligence in educational contexts. Relates to communication skills, use of language and understanding of this. It encompasses both oral and written communication. People with a high development of this intelligence are capable of making good use of communication to express themselves, as well as showing the ability to capture information through language.

15 types of intelligence - Linguistic-verbal intelligence

Visual-spatial intelligence

Visual-spatial intelligence is another multiple intelligence that, in this case, implies the ability to projection and abstraction of mental images< People with this intelligence demonstrate the ability to perceive reality, rotate and mentally manipulate models or physical elements, as well as have the ability to reproduce these graphically. This intelligence also encompasses the orientation and capture of dimensions, volumes and distances.

15 types of intelligence - Visual-spatial intelligence

Body-kinesthetic intelligence

Gardner defined bodily-kinesthetic intelligence as the ability to express ideas and emotions through the body and its movements, as well as the cognitive skills that connect the brain with the body, allowing greater control over it. Strength, coordination, balance, flexibility and the automation of learned skills depend on it.

15 types of intelligence - Body-kinesthetic intelligence

Musical intelligence

Musical intelligence is another of the intelligences identified by Gardner and encompasses abilities regarding music. Involves the ability to sing, play musical instruments, compose, appreciate and distinguish sounds, capture rhythms, timbre, tones and melodies. It is also conceptualized as the ease of expressing emotions through music, as well as the capture of feelings or ideas through the musical medium.

15 types of intelligence - Musical intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence

Intrapersonal intelligence is another of the multiple intelligences and is defined as the ability to form an image that is as accurate as possible and in tune with the reality of our own person. It involves being able to know yourself and understand yourself, recognize one’s own feelings and be able to use this information to our benefit, regulating one’s own behavior and managing it effectively. It is basically the skill of introspection.

15 types of intelligence - Intrapersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence is one of the eight types identified by Gardner. It is the capacity that is related to the ability to interact with other people, refers to the social contact we establish. People with a development of this intelligence can capture the emotional states, intentions and desires of other people through both verbal and non-verbal language. It is the competition of understand and empathize with people and being able to relate effectively through social skills and adapting our actions and words to those of the other person.

15 types of intelligence - Interpersonal intelligence

naturalistic intelligence

It is the last type of intelligence that Gardner identified and is related to the natural environment. Naturalistic intelligence implies an interaction with the environment, an identification of its components and the ability to draw connections between them, as well as make classifications and distinctions. It is the capacity that allows adaptation to the environment competently, as well as its handling.

You can know which of the above you excel in with this multiple intelligences test.

15 types of intelligence - Naturalistic Intelligence

emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence received attention, gained popularity and was spread thanks to psychologist Daniel Goleman. This intelligence refers to the ability to recognition and management of both one’s own feelings and those of others, as well as the ability to motivate ourselves. Therefore, the competencies that form this intelligence are self-knowledge, self-regulation, empathy, social skills and self-motivation. For this psychologist, this intelligence plays a central role in the functioning of various vital areas of a person, so more academic intelligence in isolation could not be a predictor of an individual’s success or adjustment.

If you want to know your level of development of these skills, you can take the emotional intelligence test.

15 types of intelligence - Emotional intelligence

Collaborative intelligence

This relatively emerging intelligence refers to the capacity for greater content creation through joint action of a group of people, which makes decisions and overcomes the obstacles of an increasingly complex environment in a shared way. It is therefore the ability of interaction, cooperation and coordination among a group of people. This intelligence is related to technology and digital content and is of great importance in the business context.

15 types of intelligence - Collaborative intelligence

Existential intelligence

Existential intelligence is related to transcendence and spirituality, but should not be confused with religiosity. It is the capacity for sensitivity and application of intuition and values ​​in approaching human existence and the world around us. It is introspection about the cosmos and its elements. In short, it is the ability to pose and respond to abstract questions of humanity.

15 types of intelligence - Existential intelligence

creative intelligence

It refers to the combination of creativity and intellect ; It is the ability to apply logic and reasoning to existing reality but having another vision or point of view that allows a different perception of it, being able to originate something new. It is therefore the ability to generate new ideas or viable solutions by proposing alternatives and experimenting. It is characterized by mental flexibility and originality. In the following article you will find more information about creativity.

15 types of intelligence - Creative Intelligence

Crystallized intelligence

It is the accumulation of knowledge and learning that a person acquires throughout their experience and life path. This intelligence increases over the years, can increase depending on the cultural context, learning opportunities and habits. It includes aptitudes or factors, especially, but not only, of a verbal nature. The elements that make it up are verbal comprehension, use of semantic relationships, spatial orientation, evaluation and assessment of experience, mechanical knowledge and establishment of judgments.

15 types of intelligence - Crystallized intelligence

fluid intelligence

Fluid intelligence refers to the ability to adaptation and resolution of novel problems about which there is no previous experience or knowledge, so it is independent of these. It is considered that it reaches its maximum development at the age of 20 approximately, tending to decline later in old age. It is related to neurological variables and is made up of inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning and memory span. Here you will find more information about Fluid Intelligence and Crystallized Intelligence.

15 types of intelligence - Fluid Intelligence

General intelligence or g factor

The g factor refers to the general mental capacity, the factor that influences all the cognitive abilities or skills that a person possesses, is common to all of them, and is a predictor of a person’s performance and adaptation. It is conceptualized as hereditary and stable over time. Generally, it is defined as the ability to adequately perceive the environment, use reasoning and problem solving, as well as act efficiently in different situations.

15 types of intelligence - General intelligence or g factor

This article is merely informative, at PsychologyFor we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to 15 types of intelligence we recommend that you enter our Cognitive Psychology category.


  • Gross, M., & Pereyra, C. (2014). Brief historical tour of the theories and measurement of intelligence
  • Marañón, RC, & Pueyo, AA (1999). The study of human intelligence: recapitulation at the turn of the millennium. Psychothema11(3), 453-476.
  • Moreno, CM, Vicente, ES, & Martínez, CE (1998). Historical review of the concept of intelligence: an approach to emotional intelligence. Latin American Journal of Psychology30(1), 11-30.

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